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This is the third time I have had to get up and scream "STOP IT, JUST STOP IT !!!"

President Obama will take the political risk next week of presenting a budget plan that proposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare, in an effort to compromise with Republicans.
.

This is just insane. Give them the store and see what happens. Maybe they will be nice and take it.

See the front page story too.

http://www.nytimes.com/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Rightwinger is a Rightwinger (10+ / 0-)

    When do we get a center-righter to vote for?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 09:51:20 PM PDT

  •  I see you got your money quote, but ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, Wisper

    ... it seems you failed to put it into context, which you had every opportunity to do under Fair Use. Here, I'll do it for you:

    Congressional Republicans have dug in against any new tax revenues after higher taxes for the affluent were approved at the start of the year. The administration’s hope is to create cracks in Republicans’ antitax resistance, especially in the Senate, as constituents complain about the across-the-board cuts in military and domestic programs that took effect March 1.

    Mr. Obama’s proposed deficit reduction would replace those cuts. And if Republicans continue to resist the president, the White House believes that most Americans will blame them for the fiscal paralysis.

    Besides the tax increases that most Republicans continue to oppose, Mr. Obama’s budget will propose a new inflation formula that would have the effect of reducing cost-of-living payments for Social Security benefits, though with financial protections for low-income and very old beneficiaries, administration officials said. The idea, known as chained C.P.I., has infuriated some Democrats and advocacy groups to Mr. Obama’s left, and they have already mobilized in opposition.

    As Mr. Obama has before, his budget documents will emphasize that he would support the cost-of-living change, as well as other reductions that Republicans have called for in the popular programs for older Americans, only if Republicans agree to additional taxes on the wealthy and infrastructure investments that the president called for in last year’s offer to Mr. Bohener.

    So, basically what we have is the same-old, same-old, but dressed up in a Presidential budget. Looks like it is intended to increase pressure on Republicans and take away their talking point, "The President hasn't submitted a budget." We know that cuts to these social programs will not pass the Senate, but still with the hyperventilating?

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:36:50 PM PDT

    •  Not sure what your point is (17+ / 0-)

      He is offering cuts in Social Security and Medicare in his proposed budget.  

      The Fierce Urgency of Later

      by Faroutman on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:40:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is not proposing cuts in Medicare benefits. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leu2500, ajr111240, Wisper

        He is proposing that higher income seniors pay a higher surcharge than they do now and they can certainly afford it. Also cuts to hospitals and providers, which I assume are the same ones he has been talking about, such as cutting the amount Medicare pays to hospitals for bad debt. I personally agree with that.

        It is intellectually dishonest to just say "cuts to Medicare and Social Security" without detailing what those proposals are. But what can one expect from someone who thinks just "scream(ing) "STOP IT, JUST STOP IT !!!" is an adult and effective way to handle something you disagree with.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:32:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Means testing (5+ / 0-)

          That's a right wing idea and the whole point of means testing is to make Mediacre less palpatable to the well off and portray Mediacre as a welfare program so that they can push to cut it.  

          It's a blatant and underhanded way of undermining Medicare and for any Democratic President to propose it is a affront to our principles, a betrayal to all senior citizens and future senior citizens and a slap in the face to Democratic voters who supported him.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:06:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Medicare is already means tested. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wisper

            The wealthy already pay higher premiums for Part B and Part D. Obama's proposal increases these premiums slightly.

            It is not a new policy. It started in 2003 and people still like their Medicare just fine.

            You might educate yourself on Medicare, how it is funded, and what it pays.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:34:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And you support further means testing? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KingBolete, Sunspots

              thereby further eroding the program all because you're a sycophantic suck up to the president?  

              No thanks.  Im not that blind.  

              Oh and I know how Medicare works and you might educate yourself. Medicare D is a large part of the problem.  It was a shit program when enacted in 2003 in the middle of the night and remains so even though the donut hole is slightly closed.   And you might ask some senior citizens what they think of it when they have to fucking ration their drugs because they can't fucking afford them.

              This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

              by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:50:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I totally agree that Part D is a POS. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wisper

                That is why I like the President's proposal to cut the amount paid to pharmaceutical companies. I am very aware of rationing drugs, thank you. I take very few drugs and yet am at the donut hole already this year because the ones I take are outrageously expensive.

                And I do not feel sorry for a couple who makes over $428,000 having to pay $335 for their Part B premium instead of $105. And if that is increased to $385 for someone making that kind of money, I think they will consider themselves still very fortunate because there is nowhere that rich senior could find such excellent insurance for $385 per month.

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:46:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Great points, sewaneepat! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sewaneepat

                  It was a Republican tactic at one time to claim that President Obama was "cutting Medicare" when all he was doing was cutting out overpayments to providers.

                  Even given that fact, it was still an argument that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney's ethics found palatable.  

                  I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

                  by Tortmaster on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:29:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Still (19+ / 0-)

      with the "defense" that "It doesn't count until it actually happens"?  

      That's playing games with our future. And it fucking well needs to stop.

      It is time to #Occupy Media.

      by lunachickie on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:46:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  when the hope is the R's hold out indefinitely (16+ / 0-)

      so that the D budget doesn't have to happen, you know something is really really wrong.

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

      by Nailbanger on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 11:16:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL (5+ / 0-)

      Just keep telling the seniors under the bus it's all 11-dimensional chess.  I'm sure they'll buy it.

      Obama better hope that he never gets impeached.

    •  You mean brilliant strategy like the Sequester? (17+ / 0-)

      I've got two family members with 10% pay cuts from that shining genius move. I'd tell you what they think of the President they voted for to protect their interests, but it would be pretty foul language to cover it.

      And your ouiji board tells you the Senate won't go for it? You're not thinking the non-binding thing that passed is the future, I hope? Harry Reid is Harry Reid after all, and the track record of "we won't vote for this" and then flipping when the vote comes -- that's the only record we have.

      What you miss, and miss completely is that there are two options:

      The Republicans take the deal.
      Result 1: I, and four people close to me, get screwed, and then the rest of my family follows along as they age.

      Result 2: The Republicans, as they did in 2010, spent $100M or more on ads: The Democrats cut your Social Security and Medicare. (You may sputter to the relative handful of people here, "but, but..." Won't matter.)

      Result 3: People who currently vote Democratic, millions of them, will say "Fuck you Democrats I ain't voting for you anymore." Guaranteed.

      Result 4: We lose 2014.

      The Republicans don't take it.
      See Results 2 and 4 above. The number of decreased Democratic voters, just from the fact that their lives have been offered as a bargaining chip, you can't tell. Probably enough to swing elections, though.

      And would you prefer we pretend this is in a vacuum. This one dot lies there unconnected to all the others?

      Dot: That nothing meaningful is being done about Jobs and increasing poverty, while we offer lunatic compromises. Basing policy on Republican lies. (The budget could not, in your wildest imagination be helped by introducing Hurt the Most Precarious Among Us; it's impossible such a measure won't hurt the economy more.)

      Dot: That by 2014 there will Obama's drones flying over cities, where not only can they see everything, but everyone can see them. Think of the love for the Party that will generate.

      Dot: That the President's Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is about to make NAFTA look like a blessing, won't be in place? This thing, and pushing it in secret and planing to fast-track it so Congress can't properly vet it in public (how cynical, how absolutely cynical) ...

      Really: if his goal was to suicide the Democratic Party, what would he be doing different than what he's doing now?

      Stop fucking playing "look at me I'm political sophisticated" with my life.


      If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

      by Jim P on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 11:40:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are there any Democrats left in the (10+ / 0-)

    Democratic Party? You, those people who used to fight like bulldogs for the interests of the common man, the working man, the unwashed masses.

    The Fierce Urgency of Later

    by Faroutman on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 10:49:43 PM PDT

  •  The Medicare stuff isn't too bad, but yes chained (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faroutman

    or Superlative CPI sucks, thankfully it won't pass.

  •  If your budget reflects your priorities (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faroutman, temptxan, OldSoldier99

    Obama is neoliberal to the core.

    •  Oh, and did you actually read the piece? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wisper

      Is free pre-kindergarten nationwide a priority you disagree with? How about the closing of tax loopholes or increasing the cigarette tax? Disagree with those?

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:37:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At what cost? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldSoldier99, KingBolete, Sunspots

        Do we mortgage the future to negotiate with terrorists for a few crumbs now?  

        Sorry but a big FUCK YOU to all the GOoPers, their enablers and people who support this shit sandwich would be my response.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:09:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And I suppose you are also upset (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wisper

          that one of the Medicare "cuts" in this "shit sandwich" is reducing payments to pharmaceutical companies? This one thing could make up for any lowered COLA to seniors. If you do not understand that, I suggest you read up on Medicare Part D.

          As I said, did you actually read the article? You did not answer that so again, I assume no.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:38:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry but a shit sandwich is a shit sandwich (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingBolete, Sunspots

            How about negotiating with drug companies and stop trying to undermine Medicare with means testing.  Simply by doing that the gov't can save close to a quarter of a trillion over the next 10 years.  Far more than any means testing will achieve.

            We don't have to eat shit.

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:43:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Can you not read? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wisper, manneckdesign

              The proposal is to reduce payments to pharmaceutical companies.

              You keep bitching about something that was in the article.

              In Medicare, the savings would mostly come from payments to health care providers, including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, but Mr. Obama also proposes that higher-income beneficiaries pay more for coverage.

              You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

              by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:49:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No one here will listen to you (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sewaneepat, manneckdesign

                I've never understood the resistance on this site of cutting medicare spending by reducing Pharm payments... Obama has played this card several times and openly campaigned on it.  Not do I understand why we hate means-testing, unless its just because the GOP supports it therefore it must be evil and involve killing old people.

                These payment reductions were part of the elimination of Medicaid Plus or whatever the supposedly higher-end option Medicare offered was called.  Which was a good move.

                You arguing about facts and policy.  They are arguing anger and betrayal.  

                I applaud the effort, however futile.

                Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                by Wisper on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:17:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  manneckdesign

                  What is so fucking frustrating is that the Kochs and their ilk win by getting people upset and feeling betrayed about something that is not what is proposed. They just make up shit and as many on the left believe them as on the right.

                  You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                  by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:30:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is going to be the key here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sewaneepat

                    Somehow the ACCURATE information about what's included in this proposal has to make it past or thru the MSM. Or, we as informed DEMS have to educate people, the ones who will listen anyway.
                    Thank you for trying to inform. It's helped my blood pressure come down after seeing the first headlines.

                    America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

                    by manneckdesign on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:25:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  The really weird thing is that This (13+ / 0-)

    cutting of Social Security will do nothing to reduce the deficit because Social Security has never contributed to the deficit. Wars, Tax cuts and the financial sector meltdown are almost solely responsible for the deficit. Medicare needs some tweaking, but the real tweaking  needed is to do with health care costs generally. We pay double per person compared to any other developed country for health care. So serious steps to curb the money (theft) gravy train all these for profit entities are on is what is really needed.

    But of course nothing will happen because big moneyed interests are the only true citizens of the country and they are the only ones truly represented in the bodies that make and enforce the laws. It's as simple as that.

    You have to pay to play.

    The Fierce Urgency of Later

    by Faroutman on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 11:57:28 PM PDT

    •  While Social Security has nothing to do with the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wisper

      debt (or deficit), there is a problem with Social Security being able to pay full benefits after 2020. Starting in 2021, the income from current FICA taxes and interest on the trust fund bonds will not be enough to pay beneficiaries at the current rates and so Social Security will have to start spending the principal in the trust fund. In 2033, those funds will be exhausted - spent - so payment will have to come only from FICA taxes - which will not be enough to pay beneficiaries and a reduction of 25% across the board will be necessary.

      What the President has proposed is not just the chained-CPI, but also that lower income seniors and seniors (and other recipients) who have been on SS for 20 years will not see those reductions. Personally, if the slightly lower COLA increase for middle class and upper income seniors will prevent a 25% across the board cut in 20 years or a cut somewhat smaller than 25% in 7 years, I am fine with that if lower income and older seniors are protected.

      If people who just want to scream no would actually look at the problems and the proposals in totality, we could have a more reasoned discussion and might actually discover some better solutions. But to pretend that there is no threat to Social Security at all in the fairly short term is worse than stupid; it also threatens the solvency and life of Social Security, just as much as Paul Ryan does.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:58:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah that's a lie (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldSoldier99, KingBolete, Sunspots

        all based on conservative estimates of very low GDP.  

        If we get unemployment back under 6%, get our country growing again and increase the cap on income Social Security will be fine for the next hundred years.  Especially once we get past the baby boomers.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:12:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it is not a lie. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wisper

          The SS Trustees are pretty reliable.

          Getting past the baby boomers will get rid of a big problem. However, it will take long while to get past us.

          The first of the baby boomers reached full retirement age last year - yes, 2012. About 10,000 of us a day can begin drawing SS and this will continue for the next 18 years. And they  will continue to be drawing SS for another 20 years after that.

          So yes, in about 38-40 years, when "we get past the baby boomers," Social Security will need less funding. But for the next 38-40 years, it needs more.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:47:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Where do you get this shit? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh, sewaneepat

          Did you hear it on the teevee?  Was some politician telling you this?

          How about this:  Stop listening to people who clearly have something to gain and/or make a living solely convincing people that they are right and other people are wrong.

          Read the Board of Trustee's report.  Its a public document.  Its published every year.  It has nothing to do with politics.  There is not a single elected official or paid pundit that sits on that board.  (To be fair Kathleen Sebelius was a former elected politician, as was Hilda Solis).  Its signed off by Stephen Goss, the Chief Actuary of the SS Administration who is also a member of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.  Mr. Goss has been an actuary for Social Security since 1973.  His signature certifies that all calculations, techniques and methodologies used to formulate these projections meet the industry standard of Acutarial Science.  This is not a campaign document.

          One of the board members is Robert Reischauer.  If there is a human being still walking this earth that knows more about the Federal Budget, specific to healthcare and Social Security than Robert Reischauer, please for the benefit of all of us, tell me his or her name.  Mr. Reischauer was part of the team that FOUNDED the first CBO and then became its director.  Hes president of the Urban Institute.. he's chairman of the Harvard Corporation.

          Maybe this doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot to you, but, sure as the day you were born, when Robert Reischauer says that a federal budget doesn't add it up: It. Doesn't. Add. Up.

          If you don't feel that a 242 page actuarial statement is your cup of tea, just read the first few pages of the Short Term and Long Term Results.  Spoiler Alert:  It ain't good news.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:38:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The surplus was MEANT to be spent (0+ / 0-)

        We've been paying extra for the last thirty years to build up the surplus to cover the baby boomer bulge.  There's no reason to leave it sitting there forever.

        Using it for its intended purpose is NOT a problem.

        •  It will all be spent by 2030. (0+ / 0-)

          At that point, there will only be the current FICA tax which will cover about 75% of the benefit. That was certainly not what the intention was.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:42:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Add jobs, raise minimum wage, remove cap (0+ / 0-)

            on contributions.  

            Any of that can solve the problem that MAY appear 17 years from now, if nothing at all changes.  Lets really hope something gets better in the meantime, and we aren't still in this depression.

    •  As to Medicare, you might have noticed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wisper

      if you read the article, that the "cuts" you are screaming about are to "all these for profit entities" - the very thing you say you want.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:00:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yet nothing on Medicare D (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots

        like negotiating prescription drugs, allowing reimportation, allowing generics to hit the market faster and clamping down on ridiculous lawsuits by Pharma companies against generic drug companies to keep their name brand drugs on the market longer and have a monopoly.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:39:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You did not read the article apparently. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wisper
          In Medicare, the savings would mostly come from payments to health care providers, including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, but Mr. Obama also proposes that higher-income beneficiaries pay more for coverage.
          This will not only save the government money, but will save seniors significant amounts of money.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:07:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I am so sick of the Obama Administration (9+ / 0-)

    always giving in to Republicans.  Seriously, I would not have believed how much my admiration for this president has evaporated over the years.

  •  I see the spin doctors have already arrived (6+ / 0-)

    to tell us just how wonderful these proposals are while ignoring that a Democratic President is offering up signature Democratic legislation, widely opposed by most Americans, in an effort to achieve his "grand bargain". You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think.

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:08:43 AM PDT

  •  This is nothing more than posturing (0+ / 0-)

    He knows the Republicans will never agree to the proposed Revenue so these "Cuts" will never come into play.  Permanent fix to fiscal issues cannot be accomplished until after Dems have re-taken the House.

    This is about trying to accomplish that and showing Republicans cannot be negotiated with.

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